Viaducts Could Produce Energy through Wind Turbines in the Future

Viaducts Could Produce Energy through Wind Turbines in the Future 1 photo
Photo: Inhabitat
Whether or not we use its power, the wind will keep blowing. Since we already have structures that are positioned in locations where treadmills would become efficient enough to be worth the investment, scientists are currently studying if the installment of wind turbines underneath viaducts could make for a new way of producing green energy.
With the renewable energy industry growing, new ideas are created by the hour. Some may appear far-fetched today, but it doesn’t mean traveling through space wasn’t the same at a point. Yet here we are, weeks away from the first flyby of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons space probe.

The principle of this innovative idea is simple: install wind turbines under some of the biggest bridges on the road network to produce electricity. Like any such project, a prototype needs to prove it’s worth the investment first, which takes us to the European research team that used a viaduct in the Canary Islands as a reference recently.

According to Solar Thermal Magazine, theJuncal Viaduct in Gran Canaria was where the Spanish and British researchers have verified if the wind blowing between the pillars on this type of infrastructure can move wind turbines and produce energy. Carried out by researcher Oscar Soto and his colleagues at Kingston University (London), the project used models and computer simulations.

The scientists have presented the wind turbines as porous discs to evaluate the air resistance and test different kinds of configurations. Does the idea work? Apparently it does, especially when small turbines are being used.

Results confirm that each viaduct presents specific energy possibilities and wind potential. In the Juncal Viaduct case, the evaluated power would be about 0.25 MW per wind turbine. Say there were two turbines, the power generated would classify in the medium-power range.

This would be the equivalent to 450-500 homes average consumption. This kind of installation would avoid the emission of 140 tonnes of CO2 per year, an amount that represents the depuration effect of about 7.200 trees,” Oscar Soto explained.

The results are promising, and we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the European countries would soon start installing them.
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